Theaters have wings – open areas stage left and stage right behind the proscenium walls where the actors (along with the sets and props) “hold” before making their entrances on to the lit stage. In my unfinished script, the dramatic exiting of the three most important male relationships in my life to date (my dad, my ex and the 8-year relationship with the on-again, off-again BF from out of town) left me standing on an empty stage, wondering who would appear in my next act?
I celebrated New Year’s Eve 2010 without much pomp and circumstance, which is not my preference or my norm. But the realities of my life at that moment were sobering so I opted to spend New Year’s Eve with friends Karen and Paley watching Sherlock Holmes (I can look at Robert Downey Jr forever. . .). The flick ended six minutes to midnight so we ducked into madness nearby at a small neighborhood restaurant where I locked eyes with a 38-year-old hottie (aka “McDreamy Jr.”) who mistakenly wired into my mental age (27) instead of my actual (58 at the time). With Karen and Paley engaged at the bar, I grabbed a flute of champagne … and 30 minutes of conversation later, I had my first date in 2010: Dinner and Avatar at the IMAX with “Jr.”. . . Call me Cougar and sizzle me “hot.’’
The New Year rang in a different deal for Karen: every gang needs a cheerleader, a consigliore — and she was just that. A former educator and current Vogue pattern designer, she packed up her sewing machine and drove her truck from Aspen, cross country to relocate to NYC to be closer to her only son (an actor). “This City,” she often tells me, “is a much bigger playground with a lot less noticeable size 2 designer jeans and bottled blondes wrapped up in real fur.” One evening early in the New Year, she hot flashed over my Italian stallion fix-it guy (aka “Tool Man”) at my place. My eye caught the visible bada-bing bada-boom that zinged between them reawakening the estrogen laying dormant in her libido so I parlayed them out the door together. He sealed the deal with an unforgettable kiss on the subway platform later that same evening and she was off on a magic carpet ride, thinking less about feeding her cats. . .
Further uptown, Paley, a lawyer by education and Type A by personality was making plans for her ‘big’ birthday. . . On one of those rare and wonderfully mild mid-winter Saturday nights our gang of five (Karen, JB, Emma, Paley and me) dusted off our mini-skirts, donned stilettos and coiffed to celebrate her 50th – a la Carrie and friends — in amongst the young’ins that hang in the meatpacking district at midnight. After 28 years of marriage (the last 12 of which were completely sexless), and much to our amazement and amusement, Paley busted out all over the dance floor getting up close and personal with strangers, downing scotch and totally glowing. It was shortly after that when she laid in wait for me on a Sunday afternoon, curbside in her car and commanded me to get in. “I want sex,” she trumpeted, “what do I need to do?”
I channeled my inner Kim Cattrall and suggested an on-line visit to Victoria Secret’s followed by a field trip to the Pleasure Chest for just the right dildo – “I can’t believe I’m telling you this,” I laughed … “well,” she whined like a teenager about to hormonally explode, “I can’t ask my mother, she’s got Alzheimer’s!”
Some focused shopping and a few days later, she was off to Texas for some serious premeditated sex with an old college sweetheart. He was happy to play boy toy and she had her first real orgasm in decades.
Back in New York and still glowing from a Brazilian wax, she went to a meeting with some venture capitalists looking to fund a new entertainment concept and tagged “Mr. CEO.” Also type-A — smart, handsome, recently divorced and relocating from LA — she met her match and pranced all the way home buoyed by visions of a new (exciting!) job opportunity and the guy behind the shades with the amazing smile standing at the helm.
Back on my plate — cougar concept: not going to happen . . . McDreamy Jr. rain-checked our movie night and truth be told, I’m grateful to the gods for sparing me the buyers remorse I undoubtedly would have felt about 10 seconds after we unbuttoned the top button of either one of our outer garments. But not long after the McDreamy non-affair, my body chemistry ignited one afternoon at an industry reading when a gray-haired blue-eyed Brit entered my row and sat down next to the guy who sat down next to me . . . my Romeo would turn out to be a vegetarian with a doctorate, a literary guy who speaks French, bakes bread and loves to surf . . . I was smitten.
. . . suddenly handsome studs are pulling out in front of the pack, rounding the bend from winter to spring. And although it can feel like you’re sitting in the dark when the curtain goes up in real life, not knowing what’s waiting in the wings or what’s going to happen next, there’s honest comfort in sitting center isle, shoulder to shoulder with four gal pals.
Note to self: Shave legs!